RACQ LifeFlight Rescue locates fishermen stranded in life raft

The Bundaberg-based RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter has located two men, stranded at sea in a life raft, after their fishing boat sunk, off the coast of the Gladstone region.

The chopper was tasked by Australian Maritime and Safety Authority (AMSA) just before 3 o’clock this morning, to locate and potentially rescue the fishermen.

The crew was able to quickly find the life raft, about 20 miles offshore, at around 4am.

“The fishermen had flares and a beacon, which enabled us to fly straight to them, using a signal homer in the aircraft and night vision equipment,” RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Aircrew Officer Chris Jowsey said.

The crew lowered down a radio device to the raft, to enable the men to maintain communications with rescuers, when it’s believed their mobile phone stopped working.

The pilot flew in a circle pattern, holding the position of the life raft, while Bundaberg Volunteer Marine Rescue travelled to the scene, to safely collect the men.

Other search and rescue aircraft were also on scene.

It’s believed the fishermen were well and in good spirits.